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!
This week's menu is thanks to my cousin's wife. On her recommendation, I bought a chunk of Marukai char siu, which is really chashu, and it has yielded several meals this week.
At-home ramen bar. Using chashu.
Huh?! A point of clarification with a dose of confusion. Char siu and chashu are both pork, but not quite the same. Char siu is usually the red-colored pork that hangs in Chinese markets. I have a recipe for this, but I don't make it red. Chashu is the Japanese version made from the fatty, marbled pork. It is never red-colored, typically much richer than char siu, and I have no idea how to make this.
places in Hawaii, you are more likely to find the red char siu with your noodles. However, at ramen
places, it will likely be chashu. To make it even more confusing, Marukai labels both kinds of pork as char siu.
Got it now? Here's what was and is cooking this week. Thanks for hanging with me on the late menu.
Lamb Stir Fry
Meatless MondayGreek Pasta Salad
. The household has adjusted nicely to veg-out Mondays.Sweep Canucks TuesdayLove Vancouver
. Canucks, not so much. Homemade Chashu Banh Mi Sandwiches. Thinly sliced chashu, Vietnamese-style pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, on a crusty French bread with Sriracha mayonnaise. I can't even begin to figure out what "kind" of food this is, other than ono. Posting instructions later this week.Chashu WednesdayMake Your Own Ramen
. In addition to chashu, I bought tonkotsu and spicy pork flavors of fresh ramen. Eating with kamaboko, kim chee and blanched pea shoots. The photo at the top shows exactly what I had for dinner.ThursdayMediterranean Lamb Stir Fry
. Using the rest of the shredded carrots and daikon for the lemon rice.Meatless & De-tox FridayCo-worker Kale Salad
. Chashu is a luxurious indulgence even when very thinly sliced, so we will need a break by Friday. Kale salad is filling and sturdy enough to work as a dinner salad.
Have a great week. Hockey and basketball playoffs!
Humble food that makes you happy.
. My mouth is watering right now.
Yes, I know hot dogs are not a healthy superfood.Yes, I know shoyu on top of hotdogs really isn't nutritious.
But once in awhile, we need to have this kind of comfort food. Simply because it makes us happy.
I'm not suggesting shoyu hotdogs be a once-a-week kind of dinner. Save it for a special occasion or when you really need it. Click here for the 'recipe.'
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.
Today it is 88 degrees and sunny. Very hot for the Bay Area, so no stoves today. This week is all about cool, quick dinners. We may even eat outside! Here's what's cooking this week.
Cooking not required
Meatless MondayNa-omi-take tofu
. Temperature in the 90s in the Bay Area means no stove. A cool meal for this temporary blast of summer. We may even be in the pool today.TuesdayChicken Tikka Masala
. Trying out Safeway's brand of starter sauce as the Seeds of Change brand can be harder to find.Meatless WednesdaySimple Spaghetti
and a simple salad. A Feeding My Ohana Like-er recommends adding slivered almonds to salad. Genius! I'll probably toss in some dried cranberries as well. Pasta and salad is one of the best weekday dinners.Fish on ThursdayStuffed Tuna Melts. Again, minimal cooking.Plate Lunch FridayBulgogi
, Wonbok coleslaw
and rice. Short ribs cook really fast and with more daylight, Friday night grilling is on!
New recipe postedMy Daddy's Aburage Thingy
The first time
I made this, it was a little too much everything--sweet, salty, liquid-ey. Not Feeding My Ohana-worthy. However, I fixed all the above-noted troubles. It is now family-approved.
Working on a couple of new recipes this week. Stay tuned for mid-week posts!What are YOU cooking this week?
Run for yourself. Run for Boston.
Why is my dirty running shoe on a food post?No matter where we live, we were all rocked by the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday.Why is the weekly menu starting on Wednesday?
Monday and Tuesday were simply an unfiltered cascade of emotions. DISBELIEF
. I have friends and family who live, work or go to school along the towns in the marathon route. I've spent many happy weekends in Boston during college. Many of my friends and relations and I run, whether in events or just on the streets and trails.
With prayers for the departed and injured and gratitude for the ordinary citizens who responded in extraordinary ways, I'm coming around to RESOLVE
. And with that, here's what we are eating for the rest of the week.WednesdayTacos from scratch.
Requested by the children.Meatless ThursdayZaru soba with green onions.
No recipe needed. Regular soba, Hon-Tsuyu and green onions. Done.FridaySmoked Salmon Pasta
. Also requested by the children, "with lots of chard." My kids are funny like that.
And now, I'm putting on my dusty old shoes to run for Boston
. I hope we all do.
Today is more of a food-for-the-soul post. Why is Hawaii unique amongst the 50 states? What compels so many ex-pat Hawaii people to return "home" as often as we can?
Warm weather, beautiful beaches and the Aloha spirit. Stock answers. However, there are also some very ordinary hazards and "city life" clutter that are simply NOT found in Hawaii, helping to create a more relaxing geographical as well as mental state. It's easy to just "be" there.
While I have plenty of familial distractions in Hawaii (but you know I love you all!) here are a few wildlife and environmental distractions you don't have to deal with.
Snake, not worm. Photo by Pacific Island Parks
OK, OK, in the strictest biological sense, there are no endemic
snakes. There is indeed one non-native snake that introduced to Hawaii in the 1980s. However, it's not poisonous, blind, and about as large as an earthworm. As if you needed another reason to declare Snakes on a Plane to be a ridiculous movie. It is illegal to have a pet Nagini, and if even one snake gets loose, it makes the front page news.Rabies
People never believe it, but Hawaii really is the only state in the US that is rabies-free. Here is the rabies quarantine information
, straight from the Department of Agriculture. No Cujo on O'ahu or any other island.Poison Ivy or Poison Oak
Which is a problem for me, because I don't really know what these look like. Good thing I don't like camping.
There is no "Your Ad Here" there. When you drive to Hana or Haleakala, you really should keep your eyes on the road at all times.
Though most homes are single wall construction anyway. And the vast majority of homes have neither an attic nor a basement.
Just how far do you think you can go on an Island? And there are no inter-island bridges.
How would it get there anyway? It sort of defeats the purpose to deflate it, fly it over, and re-inflate it to fly it.
You cannot own sand and salt water.
You may own the land in front of the shoreline and it can be difficult to get to the shoreline, but You Cannot Own the Shoreline. Larry Ellison may have bought the entire Island of Lana'i and the airline to get him there, but he can't gate a beach or kick you off.
But UH and high school sports rule. Cost of "away" games and small market audience probably have a lot to do with this.
Daylight Savings Time
Hawaii is located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator. Thus, the variance between the longest and shortest day is a whopping 2.5 hours. Why bother?
There can be snow on Mauna Kea, but there is no spring thaw or fiery blaze of autumn leaves. People who live in Hawaii would tell you differently, but really, every day is beach weather.
Consider this a dose of away-from-Hawaii or lucky-you-live Hawaii relaxation. What else have I missed?
I dashed off a batch of homemade haupia yesterday afternoon, and we had it for dessert last night. Please note that "homemade," does not mean I climbed a coconut tree with a machete in hand to harvest fresh coconut. First of all, there are no coconut trees in the suburbs. More importantly, I like all my fingers and toes and my machete-wielding skills are sub-par at best.
In this case, "homemade" means there is a Safeway that stocks three kinds of coconut milk. I used the 'regular' canned coconut milk. It also means I have said "Aloha" to another prefabricated insta-food packet.
Haupia and berries.
And you can too. It takes about 10 minutes to cook and about an hour to set. Or you can eat it like pudding while it's still warm.
The only ingredients you need are: 1 can of coconut milk, white sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt.
That's it. Click here
for the recipe. Make it today!
This week's menu goes around the world in 6 days--tofu, Alfredo and jambalaya. We are meatless x2 during the week with a bonus Meatless Sunday.
Be vegetarian, at least for a day.
Meatless Bonus SundayTofu Steaks
, edamame and rice. Can you say "soy"?MondayBasil Chicken
. With tofu steaks last night, there is lots of extra basil.Meatless TuesdayAlmost Alfredo Pasta
, with broccoli instead of spinach.
, to use the last of the feta cheese from Grapefruit and Manoa lettuce salad
. Besides tofu steaks, we had Japanese Chicken Curry
over the weekend and there is some leftover celery.Meatless FridayOn the Fly Orzo Salad
. Reasonably sure the husband will tolerate the third meatless day in a week.ExtrasHaupia from scratch
. In this context, 'from scratch' not using the 'just add water' packet, but using coconut milk and cornstarch. It does not mean pounding coconut and arrowroot. I'm hoping for a smoother texture than the packets version. I may even make this tonight!Li Hing Kettle Korn. My cousin told me I took Kettle Korn and made it even more addicting. If you see my relatives or me with the tell-tale red fingertips, you'll know why.
What are your favorite snacks?