Japanese Garden @Golden Gate Park
It's dark outside and our heat has finally kicked in. Fall in the Bay Area means it's cold enough for sweaters and boots. But no snow, sleet, ice or gloating allowed.
Here's what's cooking for the first week of Pacific Standard Time.Meatless MondayBlack bean burgers with sriracha mayo
. Another winning veggie burger from Cooking Light,
which we adjusted and expedited. 1/2 a large onion, 3-4 cloves garlic and big handful of cilantro. I did measure the panko since this has do to with texture.
A very good weekday meatless dinner, though the portion is pretty skimpy. It makes exactly
four patties. Best to double the recipe. TuesdayChicken Tikka Masala
, using bottled sauce as the base with add-insWednesdayFurikake salmon
, musubi and ung choy (or choy sum) with shoyu mirin sauce
What was supposed to be meatless Monday has been re-scheduled. Using the rest of the spinach from Monday to try out the Quinoa Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
that I found on Pinterest. This is also a good site for gluten-free recipes.FridayPDQ Hot and Sour Soup
. The perfect way to end the week.
ExtrasSweet and sour chicken
leftovers from Sunday's dinner.
I made a LOT
of chicken yesterday and these little guys are great for taking for lunch or after-school snacks.Recycled croissant bread pudding
This is just too good not to make again. Toss a few apples and maybe a touch of cinnamon in this time.
Have a great week!
One piece eaten on Sunday morning
So my husband has a co-dependent relationship with Costco, and simply cannot resist buying humongous croissants in large quantities. Gone by Sunday 4pm
However, the last few inevitably get flat, chewy, squishy and not very croissant-ish. They get gross.
The husband is also loathe to waste food. So after one too many squishy croissants, he recycles them into a bread pudding.
The husband is a genius.
Made on Sunday morning. Gone by Sunday afternoon.
Fast-tracked to Feeding My Ohana. Click here
for the recipe he used. It was based on a Martha Stewart recipe
, but sugar and croissants were the only carryovers.
Make it this weekend. Or start it in the morning and then make it for dessert during the week!
Don't worry, it works.
Just make sure you use baking powder.
This is a very, very good variation of Peach Blueberry Cobbler.
And simple enough that even I can bake is. Successfully.Don't be skeptical about the runny mess that goes into the oven.
This is what comes out of it.
The sweet plums and their sour skin give a good balance on the cobbler and make it very, very pretty.
I think it would work with just plums or even with raspberries for more of a tart kick to it.
Simplicity, flexibility and general ono-factor. Honors recipe for sure. And you can even do it during the weekday.
Click here for the recipe.
Eggplant with hot garlic sauce
Weekly meal planning, the improved and more organized method, is entering its second week. I wonder how long it will last? We are not meatless this week, but I am stretching 1/2 pound of very thinly sliced pork over two meals. And successfully feeding two teenagers, one of whom I'm pretty sure has a hollow leg.Almost Meatless MondayPan-fried noodles
. To feed a family of 4, I'm using 1/4 pound of thinly sliced pork, 6 bunches of baby bok choy, a large red pepper, 3 portabella mushrooms and a large zucchini. Family is happy.TuesdaySimple Spaghetti Sauce
. Awhile back, I made a humongous batch of meatballs and I'm cashing in that production this week. I'm also trying out San Marzano tomatoes. Is it worth all the fuss and higher price?
WednesdayMisoyaki Butterfish Furikake kale chips. Family fave.
or salmon with Edamame Rice
. It's been way too long since we had this.Almost Meatless ThursdayEggplant with Hot Garlic Sauce
, with 1/4 pound of pork and lots of eggplant, plus the convenience of ready-made sticky rice from Ranch 99. FridaySalt and pepper shrimp
, but using chicken, sauteed gai lan, and rice.
I really prefer the sweetness of shrimp, but that pesky crustacean food allergy means it's chicken.
ExtrasFurikake kale chips
. This is a really easy side/snack that never, ever leaves leftovers.Peach (apricot) Blueberry Cobbler
. 'Cots and blueberries went into the first cobbler of the season! Another one will be made this week while apricots are coming in.Pickle mango
. I BOUGHT
green mangoes. I PAID MONEY
for them. My Hawaii ohana is shaking their heads and ex-pat Hawaii people--feel my angst! It will be worth it for the first sweet/salty bite of fresh pickle mango.
Reflecting on all of those whose sacrifices allow us to be here. Have a good week all!
Orzo. It's what's for dinner.
Hot weather returns to the Bay Area this week. This means we can finally start eating outside! And I try to avoid the stove but still feed the ohana.Meatless and Stove-less MondayQuinoa Salad
plus sliced avocados. Keep the avocados separate from the salad so that leftovers don't go Exorcist-green.Fish on TuesdayCornmeal Fish
and Tropical Fruit Salsa
. Mangoes were very pretty and on sale at Safeway, and Cornmeal Fish means minimal use of the stove.Meatless and Aiming-to-be-Stove-less WednesdayOn the Fly Orzo Salad
. If I'm organized, I can make this on Tuesday when the stove is in use, I can let it overnight for another cool dinner salad.ThursdaySweet and Sour Chicken
. I've had three packages of drummettes in the freezer for far too long. I will be working from home so I'll have time to do this. Otherwise, it would be a weekend gig.Experiment on FridayZippy's Chili
, from a recipe I found on Facebook from ONO Hawaiian Kind Grinds
is the standard of Hawaii chili that many of us grew up on. Looking forward to trying this one!ExtrasCreamsicle Jello Cheesecake
, strawberry variation. OK, so this requires the oven. I'm willing to sacrifice and sweat it out in the name of cheesecake research.Steve's Hummus
. Something else cool that the kids can eat after school.Yogurt
and fat-free milk
. Plenty. As in a gallon a day. Maybe that's why we don't eat cow.Berries
, lots of berries. We have found that if we leave fresh cut fruit out on our dining table, it gets eaten. This is one of the advantages of the temperate and not-humid climate of the Bay Area. Definitely cannot do this in Hawaii without risking major spoilage or cockroaches!
How do YOU
beat the heat and still eat?
There is no more of this. Family and work approved. And I'm already planning on how to make another.
Thank you to budgetgourmetmom.com
. This is a great base recipe, which I then tinkered around.
I reduced the sugar, swapped plain yogurt for sour cream, and then stuck to the traditional creamsicle orange/vanilla flavors. What I do like about this base recipe is that there are a lot of variations.
Here are some variation I'm already contemplating
1) Coconut yogurt and pineapple Jello
2) Strawberry or raspberry Jello topped with fresh fruit
3) Lemon yogurt and lime jello. A sort of key lime cheesecake
Any other ideas? Post 'em here! Click here
for orange creamsicle version. And yes, I did have it for breakfast earlier this week.
OK, it's a little twisted, but yummy!
By far, this was the best Easter discovery. A FB friend earlier this week held a "Peeps Roast" and it was just too twisted and fun not to try.
Behold Peeps Flambe. It is well worth stocking up on Peeps now with the post-Easter sales and taking them camping, well, if I were to ever go camping. I just grilled 'em on the stove.
Simply impale the Peep on a chopstick and roast. Since they are sugar coated, they get a nice crunchy crust and squishy marshmallow goodness inside.
Be aware that it is much faster than roasting marshmallows, just a quick roast. If you are Peep-squeamish, find someone else who will do this for you. However, if you have no problem breaking the ears off your chocolate bunnies, flaming Peeps are much faster, and leave no pitiful ear-less animals staring at you in the cupboard.
What did you do for Easter?
A lot of my 'primary research' for new recipes comes from time spent at various optometrist, orthodontist, dentist and pediatrician waiting rooms. Today's post is part recipe, part rant.
I was reading a Magazine-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named at the kids' dentist office. The headline sung out, "Easy Nutella Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches." Sounds like Heaven. The recipe was decidedly south of Heaven.
There is nothing easy about:
1. Elapsed time for making the 'short' version: 6 hours (Not counting re-chilling the ice cream)
2. Elapsed time for making the 'full' version: 3 days!
3. Words like "dacquoise" and "a Gastronaut's Sublime Culinary Journey" interspersed in the cooking instructions.
It's possible to deliver a child in 6 hours with proper medication. Dessert in 6 hours-to-3-days? No. And in case you were wondering, a dacquoise is a dessert cake made with layers (plural!) of meringue and typically nuts hazelnuts or almonds. And a gastronaut is rather poetic, but nonetheless rather hoi-polloi made-up word.
However, this did get me to devise a simpler option that I made in about 10 minutes. Including re-chilling.Nutella Ice Cream Sandwiches
Diamond Head Baker Royal Creem Crackers or Pepperidge Farm Gingerbread Men, Lemon or Coconut Cookies
Your favorite ice cream. In this case, I used Coconut Caramel Flan, the Safeway fancy ice cream.
Essentially, just make a cookie sandwich. Re-freeze and eat when you are good and ready. This takes maybe 10 minutes with items that are probably in your kitchen right now. Click here
for the truly Easy Mini Nutella Ice Cream Sandwiches. Let's hear it for sanity in the kitchen. :)
I've been doing marketing and advertising for most of my professional life. So I'm a sucker for packaging, typesetting and production value. When the first of three surprises from Food Explorers Club
arrived, it had me at the "Solo marroni
..." perfectly typeset, matte-varnish, 300+ linescreen, interlocking package. Plus Italian words just sound and typeset better. Marrons Glaces
sound so much more delicious than Italian glazed chestnuts.
According to the brochure, marrons glaces are are organic, hand-picked marrons (Italian chestnuts that are about 1.5x bigger than Japanese kuri) that are hand picked and then cooked/prepared based on a process that dates back to 1766. However, the Agrimontana
company, has been at it since 1976.
Ping-pong ball sized!
All that packaging for a monster chestnut, er marron glace, that according to my child, looks like a desiccated squirrel brain. Literally, it is as big as a ping-pong ball.
To be fair, they are very sweet, very rich, very creamy and play nicely with a good strong black tea. And they are perfect indulgence gift--something I wouldn't ever think to buy but will enjoy thoroughly.
And I can't wait to see what will arrive next month!
Improved Coconut Cake #2
Two coconut cakes, both alike is dignity
In my not-so-fair kitchen where I lay out the baking ingredients.
From last year's oven fire breaks to a new attempt,
Where coconut water and coconut flour makes coconut cake anew...
First Attempt "Coconut" Cake
Coconut flakes are very flammable.
I tried to make a coconut cake last September. I
t was a tragedy.
While simply not having an oven fire would be a major accomplishment, the family agreed that the cake was much improved and actually tasted like coconut.
Here is what I learned from the most recent coconut cake adventure:
1) Coconut water, which, undiluted, tastes like laundry water, is very useful for flavoring cake and whipped cream frosting.
2) Not over-beating is VERY important in cake making. Mixing until just barely combined is key.
3) A metal mixing bowl and a big whisk are my preferred way to beat egg whites. It is very therapeutic.
4) Measuring cups come in 1/3 increments. Measuring spoons do not, but should.
5) Coconut flour is gluten-free and available at Whole Foods.
6) Making fresh fruit filling is amazingly easy and cornstarch is a secret weapon. What works for Chinese stir-fry sauces works for cake filling.
7) If your mixing pans are 1" larger than the recipe specifies, you'll get more pancake than cake (See right). Hence the half-circle cake (Pictured above) so I could get appropriate cake height.
However, all things considered, coconut cake with raspberry lime filling and coconut-flavored whipped cream worked out much better. And if I can make it unassisted, anyone can. I even brought it into work and my brutally honest co-workers and boss approved.
Just a few changes
More pancake than cake
Much Improved Coconut Cake