Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2 foodie posts in 1 day--Bonus!

This is my new favorite convenience food!! Kiyomi says, its delicious.(I'm so excited, I'm beside myself) It is packed with salty porky smoky Southern green goodness! I had this same flavor greens at the Nashville airport in a little local shop. You can get it at Albertson's (at least mine in Lake Forest Park) and its the huge 27oz can. It costs 3.25/can, BUT if you visit their website at you can print yourself a 90cent off coupon. You can use as many coupons as you buy product (you don't have to give your email, or anything to get the coupon). Sweeeeeeet!

They have Turnip, Collard, Mustard greens and their website shows even more varieties!

Chowning's Tavern Brunswick Stew

I love my crockpot.  I love it so much I'd marry it if I could.  It saves me time, money, and mental "what's for dinner anguish".  Pretty much everything I'm looking for in an appliance.  Enough gushing about my crock.  Tonight:  Chowning's Tavern Brunswick Stew!  Chownings is a Tavern from colonial Williamsburg that my family ate at when we were in Virginia in June.  We had a guy entertaining us at the table with his hurdy gurdy, which was kind of surreal. The whole experience was well done, not cheezy at all.  The crafts and craftpeople were amaaazing!  Anyway, back to the food. I had the "real" Virginia Ham sandwich, which I was way too rich, salty, and smoked for my tastes, but it was grown and cured right there in the little town and very authentic,so I forced myself to eat most of it.  Audrey had the stew and loved it!  I figured it must be delicious because she ate the whole bowl including the evil okra.  I'm making a homemade cornbread to go with it.  This is one of the few days I've had at home where I haven't been cleaning for moths this summer.  Ok, I am avoiding the basement outside of our apartment, but it has been a lovely, calm, fall domestic day--and I LOVE IT!!  Audrey and I got math and economics done today and she chased chickens around while I cooked.  Sigh, it was sooo good.  I have been too busy, too stressed out, too distracted for my own good.  Nothing like a slow cooked day!
Anyway, the recipe is authentic except I omitted the squirrel because I didn't feel like running around the yard.  Yeah, right.  Serves 8-10. Can't wait to try it!

1 chicken (about 3 lbs) I used a whole totally frozen, plopped it into the crock last night at 2am with a quart of warm water and put it on low for 10hrs (this was according to directions from crock pot).

1 - 16oz can of dice tomatoes
2 - cups OMgosh...Um, the picture I took does not have the pretty little yellow kernels of corn in it, because I forgot it!!  So I just now ran, dumped it in the crock and came back-whew!  Anyway, just imagine there is corn in this--I know you can do it!)
2 medium peeled and 1/2inch diced potatoes
1 large onion thinly sliced
1 cup frozen lima beans, eeew. They might not be so nasty in soup, but I am not a lima fan.  I used edamame.
1 cup frozen (I used fresh) sliced okra (yayayaayayay!)
1/2 tablespoon, fresh ground pepper
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Spicy Chinese Beef Noodle Soup

Spicy Chinese Beef Noodle Soup

This recipe is close to what I ate in the 80's at a long gone Chinese restaurant. My husband and I used to go there with my older sister and her husband to slurp noodles and sweat. There was serious heat in those noodles with succulent, tender chunks of beef and lots of little red chilies. My version is milder but it doesn't have to be. Just toss in more dried red chilies and slow cook to infuse the broth with spiciness.


1-1/2 to 2 lbs beef such as brisket, chuck roast etc., something with some marbling so the result is not dry. Cut to bite-sized pieces - boiled for about a minute or two, then drained and rinsed – this removes impurities. (Tendons would be good to add too.)
2 tbs grapeseed or safflower oil
4-6 tbs hot chili bean paste (depends on how spicy you want it).
1 qt beef broth and extra chicken broth as needed
1-1/2 to 2 inch chunk of ginger smashed a bit
1-2 whole star anise
2 green onions, trimmed and left whole
4 tbs Shaoxing rice wine (no substitutions)
1 tbs dark soy sauce
3-4 cardamom pods
dried red chilies (as much as you want. I use mild chilies for flavor and hint of heat.)

Optional: 1 tsp whole Sichuan peppers

Heat the oil in the pressure cooker, add the chili bean paste and stir-fry until the oil is a “red and fragrant.” Add beef and mix to coat. Then add broth, unpeeled ginger, star anise, green onions, Shaoxing rice wine, dark soy sauce, cardamom pods and extra chilies or peppers to your taste. Stir around a few times making sure nothing sticks to bottom of pan.

Cook on high pressure for 30 mins, quick release to check doneness. If meat is not tender, reseal and cook longer as needed. Or without a pressure cooker, cook on low for about 4 - 5 hours. Slow cooking will intensify the flavors and if you have time, is the preferred method. If slow cooking, add chicken broth or water as needed

When beef is almost done, cook some noodles (Chinese or spaghetti or make your own noodles) and set aside in 4 bowls.

Remove beef from pot. Strain liquid into sauce pan make sure there are no pods or seeds or green onion bits. Taste it and add chicken broth to thin (if needed). Heat to boiling. When broth is very hot, add about 1 cup of the cooking liquid/broth to each bowl, top with beef and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and green onions and a drop of sesame oil.

In the bowl before adding the broth, I usually add some vegetables such as shredded cabbage, or chopped baby bok choy. You can even add a few sliced jalapenos if it’s not hot enough.

NOTE: I used half chili bean paste and half koukujong. I threw in some yellow bean sauce. I used Better Than Bouillon Beef broth because it is better than bouillon. When I used brisket which is a tougher piece of meat, it took an hour in the pressure cooker. When I used chuck, it took around 30 minutes. (BTW koukujong is NOT gluten-free)

Another Note: If you have time, chill broth and skim fat. If don’t have time, skim what you can. Some fat is OK!

Vegetarian option: fry the bean paste and add broth and fresh mushrooms (shiitakes and criminis). Stir to coat the mushrooms and then add BTB veggie broth. Throw in an extra chili or two. I’d add all the spices etc. I would add shredded cabbage and some baby bok choy maybe some fresh pre-cooked bamboo shoots too.

I found a version of this recipe on the internets and modified the heck out of it. I lost the original citation but thank you to the mystery blog that gave me a good starting point!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

the urge to purge!

 This is from a homeschooling group I subscribe to and I thought it was lovely...but then again, I frequently have the "urge to purge"!  A touching story...
  When I was 5, my father left and I didn't see him for a long time. I missed him so much and longed for him. I cried myself to sleep so many nights. When I was 8 he brought me a music box from Okinawa, Japan. From then until I was about 16 I listened to it every night and thought about him. After age 16, I decided it was bringing me down to continue like that and I put it away. But I kept it with me, year after year, move after move and it always stayed near. It had become my replacement for him. Sometimes I would get it out, wind it up and listen to it. But I had to be in a good place because it would really hurt.
  When I was 38 and still estranged from my father Hurricane Ivan (the year before Katrina) blew into my world. It took out several out buildings and all the items from them were strewn as far as I could see. It looked like tossed salad, debris everywhere. I stepped onto the grass and leaned down and saw a piece of the music box. I had no idea it was in this building. I just knew it was in the top of my closet. But, no, here was a piece of it. I looked around and saw more and more pieces of it. I dropped to the wet soggy ground and held the pieces in my hand and cried. I HATED this hurricane and my father for being gone and for doing this to me. I was truly broken now. My heart physically ached. But then suddenly like a brick upside my head, I had one of those ah ha moments.
  I was the problem.
  He had tried to reach out to me several years before and I ignored him. I was the problem, refusing to deal with the tough reality of forgiveness and choosing instead to cling to this inanimate object. I knew that my lesson was to let go. The things you own, end up owning you. I knew I had to embark on the journey of making peace with my father and letting the old identity of abandoned daughter, go. I had to grow up and replace that beautiful music box with a beautiful relationship with him. It wasn't easy and we both worked at it but over the years we developed something I would gladly trade any music box for. Holding him is much more wonderful than listening to that music.
  So today I find myself having just had probably the largest yard sale I've ever had. I let go of things that I could easily have decided that I can use. But I learned that purging, really purging, traveling light, creates a feeling that's indescribable. I see that owning lots of stuff makes you have to lug it around, store it, maintain it, it becomes a chain around your ankles. The joy at the yard sale of seeing people's eyes at the ridiculously low price and getting things they really needed for so cheap, was the most amazing experience. Instead of putting prices on everything, I asked them what they thought it was worth. And whatever they said, I said "sold". My husband got into it too and sold a nice large table saw for 5 bucks. Watching our things march away in droves and the driveway slowly become empty wasn't the least bit upsetting. And we now had freed up the $50 a month to the storage unit place. I have lots of empty drawers at home and the empty storage bins are stacked up. And best of all, I made $200 that I gave my husband toward replacing his camera that was stolen. His passion is photography and now we are one step closer to having him back in his element.
  But the biggest surprise is how wonderful and light I feel. I am giddy with freedom. I really have so few things left and I feel so happy about that. Are you feeling the need to purge lately? It seems like many of us are. Are you clinging to "things?" Are they going to be able to replace that person who gave it to you? Can you get by, do you have the ability to make do without it? Then perhaps someone else could really use it. After our yard sale, my husband started going through all his old stuff he has been hanging onto. It was nice to see him let go of things that belonged to his father, things from his childhood, things that no longer served a purpose. I sat with him last night and watched him move through his process, sorting what goes and what stays. He woke up different this morning. He seemed lighter and happier.
  I continued today, listing lots of stuff on facebook and the items are going quickly to homes that will use them.
  This process has created love and given love and freedom that affected not just us, but all the other people who needed what we set free. What can you let go of? I wish you discernment and peace.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Kale and Chickpeas

Here is one my favorite non-recipes. It's quick, simple and vegetarian. You can dress it up in many ways but I usually keep it simple.

Wash a bunch of kale and chop it. I usually chop the kale fairly small (cooks faster) and include a bit of the stem for crunch. Take a can of chickpeas drain, rinse and set aside. There is no comparison for home cooked chickpeas versus canned but the cans are sooooo convenient. I always keep a fewcans in my pantry. Melt some butter or ghee or olive oil and toss in the chickpeas. I saute the chickpeas until they start to crisp up a bit and turn golden. Then add the kale, mix in and continue to saute until kale is cooked. Try not to cook the kale until soft so that there is some contrast of textures. Season with salt, ground coriander and finish with a small pat of butter (or not.) I often eat this in a corn tortilla or a besan (chickpea flour)pancake. You can make it spicy with cayenne if you want.

Note: I usually by dinosaur/Tuscan/black kale or Russian kale or any other flat leafed kale.

Seasoning note: When butter is melted, you could add a pinch hing (asefeotida) and 1/2 tsp cumin seeds.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Warning: A kind of whiny rant

What is this on your screen you say? It is Mr.Tinea pellionella! The dreaded clothing moth! I loathe him. He is my true enemy. He is innocent, you say?! Bite your forked tongue! No! No! No! We have been in a war with Mr. T.P. since April. Today was a 3-moth day. Two empty cases; three moths. I'm starting to mark my days by moths and what places we tore up to find them. Today, this meant more hours emptying and turning over bookcases, scraping out cracks between floor moldings and floors with pen knives, and emptying drawers. In some of these areas this was the third visit. My family and I were too tired to complete Audrey's room after unscrewing her book case from the wall and making sure to "squeeze" the spine on each cloth bound book (do you really want to know?). The positive thing is, is Audrey's room is much more dust free and I threw away medicines from 1997...but what I want to know is... WILL IT EVER END?! I'm trying to trust the process, but meanwhile my garden sits, my homeschooling stalls, I'm not having nearly as much fun as I'd like to, and frankly I am a wee bit crabby. I have to believe, I must believe, I REFUSE NOT to believe anything other than we are WELL ahead of the little monsters. I wanted to post the picture from the first day we found the moths. It was of the electrical outlet stuffed full of caterpillars and cases...but I couldn't find it. It's probably better that way, since it would just freak you out and piss me off.
Don't get me wrong, I love my life and my family and am deeply grateful for how incredibly blessed I am--but am just tired of the little buggers. Sorry for the whining, but I did warn you!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Market Saute

Or emptying the vegetable bin to make room for more.

I have been going to a local farmer's market every Saturday for about a year and have embraced the locavore diet as much as my palate allows. There are some imported foods that I just don't want to do without.

Eating seasonally and locally (and organic) is a very enjoyable and easy way of taking care of myself and my family. I even buy my meat from the market. Although it costs substantially more money, we simply eat less. I love going to the market and seeing what is available for the week's meals. In the winter it was a fun challenge.

I still go to the grocery store but less often. After all, I need my rice and John his ketchup! (Oh, I could make my own ketchup...hmm. No.) :O)

This is a quick easy method for cooking up the contents of your vegetable bin. Something I do every Saturday after I bring home the next week's veggies.

Market Saute

Bacon or guanciale
1 clove garlic
Approx. 3-6 cups Veggies (This month it was mainly kale, bok choy, cauliflower, etc)
White pepper

Slice the bacon in to 1/8 in x 1-1/2 in pieces. Put in skillet on medium heat. Leave it undisturbed as the pan heats up and once one side begins to brown flip. Continue to cook to your taste. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Pour out most but not all the fat.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the garlic and chop the veggies in to bite sized pieces. Return the skillet to the heat and add the garlic cook to just soften, don't let it brown. Add the kale and stir fry for a minute then add the other veggies. Note: add veggies to the pan in order of cooking time. The ones that take the longest should go in first get cooked for a minute or two then the next added.

At this point, everything is sizzling along nicely. Add a couple tablespoons of water or broth and stir. Do this a couple of times until the veggies are cooked to your taste. Turn off the heat and add the bacon back in to the pan and stir to distribute. Season to taste.

Vegetarian Option:
Use olive oil and cook the garlic until just starting to turn golden then quickly add the veggies. Continue cooking as above. For an added protein you could use fried tofu. Reheating or recrisping in the oil then set aside until the veggies are cooked.

Note: Depending on the veggie combo you can add sliced ginger at the time of cooking the garlic or add herbs such as thyme or Vignalta salt at the end.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tofu Salad w/chilies and ginger

Tofu Salad w/chilies and ginger
Adapted from Beyond the Great Wall, by Alford & Duguid


1/2 block extra firm tofu, tofu noodles, pressed tofu your choice

1/2 - 1 tsp dried red chilies (use different varieties for flavor*)

2 tbs chinese soy sauce

1 tbs water

2 green onions sliced very thinly

1 tbs ginger minced

½ red bell pepper, minced

Mix dried chilies* with soysauce and water and set aside.

Prep the tofu, depending on what kind you are using.

· If using fresh extra firm, rinse and drain for a few minutes, pat dry and then cut into small 1/4 inch or less cubes.

· If using pressed tofu, open package and slice into small cubes 1/4-inch or less. Pressed tofu is very firm, compressed tofu. It comes plain or preseasoned, either works.

· If using tofu noodle, rinse to separate strands, drain.

Slice green onions, and mince ginger and bell pepper. Mix all ingredients together.

Let sit for a few minutes for flavors to incorporate. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with rice or roll the salad up in lettuce leaves.

Serves 1 or 2 for a snack

*dried chilies. I use mild dried chilies which have little heat but lots of flavor. Grocery stores often have a variety of dried red peppers. You can also try the local farmer's markets.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thrifty joy!

I said to Don, with this post, my sisters are going to think I'm more "nuts" than they already do! Oh well, welcome to my little world. I wanted to find a way to donate more to the food bank and not go out of my budget. It is also a less painful way to keep a few extra of the items you use a lot of.

I went to Albertsons and saved $9.64 shopping sales and using coupons and spent $6.63
I went to Walgreens and saved $24.73, and spent $7
I went to Fred Meyer and saved at least $20 and purchased everything on sale--there are a lot of good deals on organics and in natural foods right now. I got the brand of packaged Indian dinners that Aji loves for $2/ea vs the usual nearly $4/ea.
Audrey also got her favorite Coconut Milk Ice Cream - Purely Decadent on sale and with a coupon for $2.00. The regular price $5.49?

It is not hard. It is not actually that time consuming. I found a good coupon site called the discount queens. I compared them to many others. If you find one good site, it is not really necessary to use any others because they are all blogging the same deals.
If it seems too good to be true and wonder if it is "ok" to do, the store accepts this method of couponing because the manufacturer pays them too. It is like the "loss leaders" they use in the weekly flyers. They take the loss to get you into the store. It is a free sample. (The organic shampoo was an amazing free sample!) Everyone is happy you are getting their product and hope that you are so happy you will get some more! I got a dark chocolate Reese's p-cup regular price of 89cents on sale for 49cents and used a 55cent manufacturer coupon. My total sale got credited the 6cents and I got a free candy bar.

Here are 2 of my highlight buys I think might interest you...

A new item at Walgreens. This was FREE. It has a "peelie" on it: A coupon attached to the item. This was a buy one ($7) and get one free, EXCEPT, there is a rebate for the entire cost for each item. FREE Organic shampoo and all I'm out is an envelope, stamp and 3 minutes.
Donnie likes his sandwiches wrapped in wax paper. Its a thing. This roll normally costs $1.99 at Walgreens. This weeks flyer (you can get the flyer at the store) it was 89 cents. The limit is 3 for the shopping trip. They have no problem you picking up another coupon if you come in again during the coupon expiration date (Walgreen's coupons are for 1 week).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How to use leftovers – Momo Dough

I posted a recipe for Tibetan momos on February 17, 2010. Often when making momos there is leftover dough. My favorite way to use up this dough is to make Yow Bing or Chinese green onion pancakes.

Yow Bing


Dough leftover from making momos OR make full batch as outlined in the momo recipe
1 tsp to 1 tbs safflower oil or other neutral oil
1/4 to 3/4 cup very finely sliced green onions (depends on how much dough is left)
oil for frying

On a floured surface roll out the dough into a roughly circular shape to 1/8-inch thick. If dough is sticky, keep lifting up and dusting flour underneath as you are rolling. Spread a thin film of oil on the round and salt evenly. Sprinkle green onions evenly over surface, not too thickly. Roll the dough tightly into a tube. Cut the roll into 4 sections. Take one piece and dust with flour and roll again into a tube shape. Take tube and twist a few times then roll into a spiral, tucking ends in to seal. Roll out to a round about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Repeat until dough is used up. Use flour to dust the dough or work surface as needed.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium low heat and add enough oil to create a thick film. When hot, put in bread and cook for a couple of minutes. Press down occasionally to ensure even cooking. Turn bread over and cook for 2 minutes on other side. Continue to cook, turning form side to side until golden brown spots form and the bread is cooked through. Remove and put on a paper towel and let drain. Cook all bread this way. Serve hot, cut in quarters.

Note: the size of your bread will vary depending on how many times you divide up the dough or how much dough you have left over. I usually get four med-small breads from the left over momo dough.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Hot Chili Relish

1 lbs chilies, sliced 1/4-inch rounds. Do not deseed. (see note below)
1-2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
one head garlic, minced
soy sauce
1 tbs paprika

Optional: powdered cayenne

Melt a cube of butter in large fry pan. Add the garlic stir till softened, do not let brown. Add paprika and stir for a minute or two then add tomatoes and cook until they start to break down, add chilies and let cook for a few minutes. Add some water 1/2 cup water and cover. Add more water as needed to keep from drying out. Sauce should be thick. when chilies are soft and the tomatoes completely broken down, pour soysauce to taste. Do not use more than a table spoon. If the sauce needs more saltiness at this point, use salt.

Note: Use a combo of or just one particular variety of chilies I usually just use jalepenos and then if they are mild, throw in a serrano or two. The more kinds of chilies used the more complex the flavor. I recommend using medium to hot varieties. Habaneros are too hot, the flavor gets lost in the overwhelming spiciness.

This makes a fair amount. I am going to make a milder version when the chilies begin to arrive at the Farmer's Market this late spring.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tibetan Momos

This is how I make momos based on how I was taught by the wife of a Tibetan lama. These dumplings are delicious and juicy. It's kind of tricky to make the round style dumplings but you can pleat them in the crescent shape (see my other entry on dumplings.) I really love to eat them with the below sauce. When you bite into them after they've been just cooked - be aware they are hot and juicy. Spoon a bit of sauce on the momo after each bite. Yum!



1lb beef
1 small to med small red onion finely chopped
1-1/2 to 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled finely chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ c water
1 tsp salt
1 bunch cilantro finely chopped stems included

mix all together


2 1/2 c flour
approx ¾ c water (add a little at a time.)

How to:

Mix /knead to a smooth dough. Let rest covered at least 10 mins to ½ hour. Shape into a log and break of small pieces and using your hands make smooth balls and then flatten slightly.

Roll out pieces to 3 inch rounds with the edges thinner than middle. Stuff and pleat like a standard dumpling or to make traditional round shaped momos, try following this youtube video: To freeze: dust bottom of momo with a bit of flour and put on dry cookie sheet. Do not let them touch. Once frozen put in plastic zip bag or other container and pull out as needed. Leftover dough can be used for Yow Bing (Chinese green onion pancakes.)

Put the momos in a steamer with the water already at a boil. Momos are done when you touch the sides and they are firm and the wrapper is not sticky to the touch, about 15 mins. 20-25 mins for frozen.

Cooking tips:

  • You can also put beef bones in the water and maybe a few veggies and save the resultant broth for soup.
  • When steaming, layer steamer with leaves of napa cabbage or lettuce to keep momos from sticking. For fun, you can use a slice of carrot under each momo but the carrot has to be pretty big to keep the momo from sticking. Traditionally, people just oil the steamer.

Makes about 30 dumplings. Serve with a green sauce or chili salt.

Green Sauce

1 bunch Cilantro coarsely chopped
1-2 Jalapeno chilies chopped
Dried red chili flakes if needed
1 large tomato, chopped
2 cloves Garlic chopped
½ to 1 tsp Salt
Water as needed

Blend all ingredients until just uniform. Or you can mince everything to control the texture. Alternatively you can use 1 cup of plain yogurt instead of the tomato.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cold Season Remedy - Bubbe-mycin

Chicken soup is proven to help to alleviate cold and flu symptoms. This recipe contains many home remedy ingredients (onions, garlic, thyme, oregano, celtic gray salt) and combined makes a tasty soothing broth. It's important to use the highest quality ingredients you can. Don't skimp on your health!

Lori’s Chicken Broth

3-4 lbs organic free range chicken, rinsed and innards removed

1 yellow onion washed with peel, with a clove stuck in

3-6 cloves of garlic, don’t bother peeling

2 Carrots

2 Celery

fresh thyme and/or oregano

Celtic gray sea salt

Wash all veggies, leaving skins on. Put all veggies, seasonings except salt, in pressure cooker then add chicken and water to cover. Bring pressure to high (Kuhn Rikon 2nd red line) for 25 minutes. Quick pressure release.

Remove chicken and let cool enough to handle. Remove skin and then debone. Don’t be super careful removing all the meat from the bones, the point here is making bubbe-mycin and good flavor is important. Set the meat aside to cool and use in another recipe. You can leave the chicken in whole when cooking again but even I think that’s going a bit far.

Put the bones back in the pot with veggies. Return to stove and bring back to pressure for 1 to 1-½ hour. This should be sufficient to cooking all the meaty goodness from the bones. Pour through a cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer to remove all impurities. Let cool before putting in refrigerator. Let thoroughly cool and remove any solidified fat. When reheating, add celtic gray sea salt to taste, more fresh thyme to taste.

Serve as a broth or this can be turned into chicken soup by adding chopped carrots, celery and onion along with the gray sea salt and fresh thyme and leftover chicken and cooking until veggies soft.

Note: Or the chicken can be used for chicken salad or chicken noodle.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Oyako Donburi

This is my version of the family recipe for oyako donburi. It's more of a soupy meal than the traditional rice bowl with stuff. It's very simple, fast, and delicious. The recipe quantities don't make a lot but should be good for 2-3 people. The veggies add depth to the broth. The daikon is especially good.


1 box chicken broth (for best use homemade)

1 tbs dashi powder

1 equal amount of water (or a little more)

1 whole chicken breast or equivalent thighs deboned & chopped bite-sized pieces
(I save the bones to make my own stock)

¼- ½ cup shoyu

6-8 eggs, beaten

garnish: finely chopped green onions and/or toasted nori crumbled

veggies: I usually add a little water chestnut sliced, fresh shiitake mushrooms sliced, and/or diakon sliced into matchsticks. Sometimes I add a little of the daikon greens or thinly sliced cabbage for color.

Heat chicken broth, dashi, and water) to a boil, toss a whole green onion or two (take out before serving), add chicken and veggies, then turn down heat to simmer. When chicken is just cooked, taste broth and add more stock or water or dashi depending on your taste. Bring soup back to boil. Stir ½ cup hot broth into eggs then pour eggs in to pot stirring until cooked. Add shoyu to taste.

Serve over hot Japanese rice. Garnish w/green onions and/or nori.

Wheat and Dairy-free Sweet Potato Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Coating
Adapted from Noble Pig Cooking Blog
For the Muffins:
2-1/2 cups Spelt Flour
1-1/2teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup "fake buttermilk" - plain soymilk tainted with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sweet potato puree (canned or fresh baked)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 stick margarine, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs

For the

1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 stick margarine, melted

In a medium bowl, combine spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large pouring vessel combine the coconut milk, "fake buttermilk", sweet potato puree, and vanilla. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream margarine and brown sugar with an electric mixer, until fluffly. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix, alternating wet and dry ingredients into the butter mixture, starting and ending with the dry; mix only until each addition is incorporated, DO NOT OVER MIX, BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, DON'T UNDER MIX EITHER.

Grease your muffin tin or line them. Fill muffin cups 1/2 full. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.

While the muffins are baking, In a shallow bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg. Put the melted butter in a separate bowl.
When the muffins are cool enough to handle, yet still warm, remove the muffins from the tins, brush them completely with the melted butter, and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pranav Mistry: The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology | Video on

This technology is amazing! Check out TED videos--rich content on many subjects!

Pranav Mistry: The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology | Video on

wheat free, dairy free, but not taste free, sweet potato muffins

To my delight, I found a great deal in the overstock bin at Fred Meyer of canned organic sweet potato and pumpkin. I put the sweet potato to work yesterday, and the results were delish. I will post recipe if anyone is interested. I discovered when the recipe says, "don't overmix", they need to add for people like me, "but don't undermix, either" because some of them oozed.

I used soymilk with apple vinegar as a substitute for buttermilk and coconut milk for the whole milk with great results. I used spelt flour so it is wheat-free and ever so tender, but not gluten free. Only a few looked like a volcanic eruption, the rest looked lovely, like this:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How to use leftovers – Dumpling Filling

Often when making dumplings (or potstickers, gyoza, jao zi, etc.) you'll end up with extra fillling. Here is one recipe that solves this leftover problem. This was adapted from an excellent recipe from the NY Times, Mark Bitten's blog, 11/18/09, "Meatballs, Chinese Style."

Take leftover dumpling fillling and add an egg white and about 2 tsp tapioca starch. You can add more salt if ou like, or a tsp of soy sauce or fish sauce. The mixture will be very wet but don't worry the poaching in stock will firm them up.

Mince an inch of ginger and finely slice the white parts of a leek or a small handful of Chinese chives or a couple of green onions. Heat veg oil, add ginger and onion but don’t brown just get it softened. Add about 6-8 small heads of baby bok choy roughly chopped. Or use an equivalent amount of regular bok choy or Napa cabbage, coarsely cut up. It looks big at first but the greens cook down so much, you’ll be surprised.

Add white pepper and 2/3 to 1 cup of chicken or pork stock. Stir, then cover the wok or pan w/lid and let the bok choy cook down a little. After a minute or two, shift the bok choy over to one side of the pan. Make the dumpling filling into balls, don’t have to be precise here, and gently ease them into the cooking liquid next to the bok choy. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. The bok choy will be very overcooked but so yummy.

The broth is pretty amazing. I don’t usually reduce or thicken it. If you have leftover broth from meal, this can be used in another stirfry or as a soup base. Check for seasoning, add a few drops of sesame oil and soy sauce to taste.

Serve, of course, with rice.

Note: I’ve made this recipe several times from scratch (no leftover filling.) Making the meatballs from a lb of ground pork, 1 tbs fish sauce, ½ small minced onion, , white pepper , tiniest pinch of sugar, egg white (small egg), 1 tbs starch (corn or tapioca.) It makes a lot but then you have -- leftovers!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dumplings, Potstickers, and Gyoza, Oh My!



Ground pork
Nappa cabbage, shredded, salted for 20 mins squeeze out extra liquid.
(If really salty, rinse and squeeze)
Sesame oil
Soy sauce (not too much because nappa is salted)
(Chinese or Japanese soy will change the flavor)
White pepper

Optional: Yellow chives, minced, soaked dried or fresh shrimp and or soaked dried mushrooms, some folks use garlic

Note: Can use frozen spinach that’s been defrosted, and squeezed out dry. You can use tofu, that’s been drained and crumbled, may want to add some tapioca flour for binder. (?)

Making the dumpling:

Mix filling ingredients. If the ingredients are good and they should be, keep the flavors simple.Don’t use all the optional ingredients maybe just one. All the seasonings are added to taste (microwave a teaspoon or drop in boiling water to test) or by smell. Use prepared gyoza skins or make your own. (see below) Take between 1tsp to 1tbs of filling and put in center of wrapper. Wet edge of wrapper and bring center together and press to stick. Then pleat one side only (towards the direction of the center) Should be about 3 pleats each side of center. This makes the potsticker stand up and is easy for pan-frying or steaming. Here is a youtube video that shows how to do it with homemade wrappers:

Cooking methods

Heat pan med high w/minimum coating of oil. Add potstickers before oil is too hot to avoid splatters, then add ½ cup water. Cover and let steam until water is gone. Turn down to med or low, cover (monitor closely to prevent burning, adding spoonful of water at a time if needed.)Potstickers are done when bottom golden and crisp and insides firm approximately 10-20 mins depending on if frozen or fresh.

Bring water to boil. Add dumpling for 5-10 mins depend on if fresh or frozen. Can add a bit of cold water every time water comes to boil until the little guys float to the surface.

Prep the steamer by lining with nappa or lettuce so they don’t stick to the bamboo. Steam until firm and dough not sticky.


Making the dough for dumpling wrappers:

About 2 cups flour,

Mix enough water, a little at a time, to form a ball.

Knead for 10 minutes.

Wrap in plastic for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

Shape in to disk and cut in half. Cover one half and take the other half and cut in half again then each of those halves into fourths. These make thicker and bigger wrappers like for momos or you can cut in half again. Keep dough you are not using immediately, wrapped to prevent drying out.

Form into ball and roll out in as round a shape as possible. Use flour as needed to keep from sticking.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I'd like to introduce you to my new love, King Oyster Mushroom.

Picture courtesy of

He is my new favorite mushroom. Meaty, dense, firm, and good in butter! Yum. I purchased King Oyster at Ranch for about $2. One package was a meal in itself! It would make a good vegan substitute for scallops because of it's size and denseness. Don't get me wrong--it doesn't taste like seafood at all! It has a mild, flavor that is reminiscent of MATSUTAKE. Need I really say more? Not a mushroom to be wasted on spaghetti, if you get my drift...truly a King.

Picture courtesy of

How to Use Leftovers - Rice

Bowl Of Rice clip art

Fried Rice
a great quick meal and a great way to use leftovers.

Left over rice, refrigerated overnight.
Green onions, cut on diagonal , ½-1 inch pieces
Veggie: bok choy, kale, rapini, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms, etc.,
cut into bite size pieces or coarsely shredded
Soy sauce, to taste
Salt & white pepper, to taste

Optional ingredients:

Garlic, left whole, slightly smashed
some kind of pre-cooked meat or tofu, cut in to small pieces.
red pepper: cayenne, togarashi, chili paste
kimchi (allow kimchi to be heated through, use juices instead of soy sauce)
sesame oil, for flavor


Heat oil or lard or use bacon cut into small bits as both the fat and the meat. Use fairly high heat, what your pan can stand (med-high).

Add ginger stir until fragrant (very quick) then add green onions and stir fry until edges begin to brown.

Quickly add veggies and meat, turn heat to medium and stirfry until veggies are almost cooked and meat is heated through.

Push mixture to edge of pan and break eggs into pan (make sure that pan has some oil thinly coating bottom, okay to add a little sesame oil at this time.) Mix eggs with fork and season with with salt/white pepper. Then let cook until almost done but top of eggs are still wet.

Add rice folding eggs into rice, making sure to break egg into small pieces, mixing veggies in also. At this point you can season with a little soy and red pepper.

Note: I usually don’t use garlic but if I do I add at the same time as ginger and green onions and then remove when brown.

Here are a few variations on the theme:

Jean-Geoges Fried Rice -
Shanghai, Yangzhou version -
Japanese style -
Korean style -

I could go on and on. There are as many versions of fried rice as there are countries that eat rice.

How do you make fried rice?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pics from the tournament



a few of my favorite things...

Bacon shoes!

Kathy's Pic of the Week

Kathy's Picture of the Week has moved to Mondays!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Audrey Cooper and her partner, Catherine, qualified today for Regionals for debate!

Soy Sauce Chicken

Here is one of my favorite recipes. It comes from a former boss, H. Shek. It's pretty bomb-proof and just like you would get from the Chinese bbq places. I am going to try it with a pasture-raised organic duck from Sea Breeze Farm. I suspect I'll need more than 1 bottle of soy sauce.

Soy Chicken
a recipe from Henry Shek.


Chinese thick soy sauce and water equivalent to soy to just cover chicken (approx. 1 bottle)

1-3 whole star anise

Honey or molasses or maple syrup or sugar to taste

Whole chicken, 3lbs, rinsed and patted dry (remove extra parts bag)

Combine all to taste, except bird, in a deep narrow pot. Taste should be strong. Let soy come to boil, reduce heat. Do not let boil again. Add chicken, simmer 40-45 mins.Do not overcook. If Soy doesn’t cover chicken, roll every 20 or so minutes.

Chop, serve warm or room temp w/bit of warm sauce on top. Garnish with cilantro.

Optional make sauce from a mixture of oil, salt, ginger, green onion

To Store Sauce:

After cooking chicken. Bring soy to high boil once, then remove from heat. Strain into wide mouth jars, refrigerate, remove congealed fat, cover tightly.

Reuse sauce for more chicken, or duck as sauce in stirfry or ramen. If cook fish do not reuse.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

IMHO One of the best pasta sauces ever

This recipe is relatively easy but time consuming. I can't tell you how long it took to make the sauce but it was approximately 45 mins to add all the tomato puree and then another hour for cooking. It could have been longer. Sorry. I just make it when I have lots of time. It's worth it to get that deep tomato flavor.

Amatrice style Sauce w/Sausage
Serves 2


Olive oil or butter or lard
2 oz Guanciale (Italian air cured bacon)
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
red chili flakes (optional)
3 c. tomato puree
2 sausages (I used Seabreeze Farm, mild)

black pepper
basil, chiffonade
fromage blanc


Heat oil/fat of choice on medium.

Chop guanciale in to ¼-inch bits. When oil is hot, add guanciale and fry until crispy. Remove and save. Add chopped onions and garlic sauté until soft and starting to brown. At this point you can add some red chili flakes and cook an extra minute or two.

Then add a ½ c. tomato puree, ½ c. water, mix, and let reduce a bit. Keep stirring you don’t want to burn or brown the tomatoes. When tomato mixture is dark, add ½ c. water and another batch of tomato. Repeat until all the puree is cooking. Turn heat down to low.

At this point the sauce should be reduced and a burgundy-ish color, add 1 cup of water (or more) and add meatballs. I used SeaBreeze Farm sausage by squeezing bits out of the casing and rolling into balls. (This sausage is seasoned in a very complementary way for this sauce. You can also make your own meatballs.

Once the sauce is at the desired thickness and the sausage is cooked through, mix in the guanciale. Serve on hot pasta with garnish of basil.

Variation: I had approximately 2 tbs of fromage blanc. I threw it in. I will now always add it to this dish. It helps smooth out the acidity of the tomatoes.

Note: Amatrice is a city in Italy known for their pasta sauce made with guanciale & pecorino. A more typical recipe can be found here: