Nom-nomvember already! Snaps from October:
- Overlooking South End and Back Bay. It kills me a little that I could easily live in either area with what I currently pay for rent, if only I were willing to have a roommate. But then I wouldn’t be able to walk around my apartment in only my underwear? My priorities. (Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I cooked in a shirt.)
- Breakfast sandwiches are my ultimate weakness.
- SO ARE GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES.
- As a preemptive effort to empty out my fridge in case I lost power, I tossed everything I had into a saucepan and stir-fried it.
Satisfied my fried food craving with grilled mackerel coated in flour and then seared over the stovetop in generous oil. Best part is the sound of the crunch when the skin flakes off, so good. Served with tofu & seaweed miso soup.
When in doubt, make kale chips.
Weekend detox. Whole wheat pasta with lettuce, artichoke hearts, and cherry tomatoes; baked kale chips; broiled mackerel, kale salad, and congee. MACKEREL IS SO DELICIOUS and so simple & quick. Salt both sides, let sit for 20 minutes, then broil 5 minutes each side. When I’m feeling more ambitious I want to try braising it next!
Anyone who talks to me for too long will hear of my love affair for barbecue and all things grilled-meats, so I was pretty stoked to go to M’s family barbecue yesterday. Too bad it poured down rain the entire day. They decided to scrap the plan to go to a park and ended up hosting it at their townhouse, where 50+ people managed to fit into a limited common space that would’ve made even a college party proud. Unfortunately didn’t get to eat any mooncakes for Mid-Autumn Festival, but I made up for it with baby-back ribs, smoked steak, Italian sausages, and homemade baklava. M’s parents also keep a pretty impressive stocked bar, which (let’s be real) is a deal-breaker for handling any type of family reunion, especially ones not your own.
What I usually eat when I’m not eating out: romaine with carrots, tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumbers, & slightly warm pasta + variations of whatever cheese, salami, and fruit I have on hand. Sometimes I make miso soup with tofu and seaweed. I’ve gotten lazier in the kitchen.
It’s been a rough week so far; I’ve had problems sleeping lately, and my appetite has suffered a lot for it. My stomach is unfortunately always synced up to my over-all energy, so any physical or emotional strain kills all enjoyment of food. Upside, I never worry about stress eating. Downside, it leads to a pretty miserable time all around.
Family tradition - my parents make either dumplings or won tons or buns (anything that includes filling & wrapping) every weekend, and I threw in my vote for potstickers this time. The dough is the most important part, imo, because it needs to be fluffy and chewy and not too bland. I carried only a large purse and a messenger bag on this trip and kept insisting that I had no room to smuggle back any food to Boston, but my parents still ended up forcing me to carry a large zip-lock bag of steamed buns by hand on the flight back.
(There are worse ways for parents to show love, I know.)
羊肉泡馍 (lamb stew with soaked homemade bread chunks), hand-cut noodles with vegetables, sauteed fish & tomatoes, and garlic spinach dumplings. I called ahead the week before I flew home to tell my mother all the things I wanted to eat. :> Growing up, I definitely didn’t appreciate how lucky I was to have authentic and nourishing Chinese meals on a regular basis and instead was so excited to go off to college and eat “American” food. Now I’d give anything to have access to my mom’s kitchen again.
International-themed potluck at work - bring in a dish from your country of origin, eat, sample, profit. I went with peanut-sauce cold noodles with sliced carrots & cucumbers (one of my favorite summer recipes). Other selection: gyros, avocado whip, chorizo sandwiches, Roche Bros tiramisu cake, HOMEMADE BAKLAVA, HOMEMADE MACARONS. My department tries to host a food event once a week. Total game-changer for morale, to be honest. :9
Happy 4th of July! Some snaps from June:
- green tea, strawberry, and chocolate mochi ice-cream
- freshly-baked cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting
- rainy day in suburban Massachusetts
- quiet night over the Charles River
- a glimpse of the outdoor dancefest in Central Square
- never enough summertime sangria
Finally tried out Luxirare’s turning $2 into a $20 dessert recipe for a potluck over the weekend, and it is incredible. BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE EVER. Take a box of Pillsbury Moist Supreme Dark Chocolate cake mix and follow the instructions but add a little additional water, oil, unsweetened cocoa powder, espresso (I used ground coffee), and a bar of good quality dark chocolate. So easy, and with the most impressive results. Everyone kept asking me for the recipe and no one believed me when I said it came (mostly) out of a box. Other food at our potluck - vegetable couscous, lentil salad, watermelon & cheddar cubes, savory muffins, and SUPERMARKET-STYLE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE. The biscuits are so processed, but I remember begging my mom to buy them for me every week when I was a kid. Sweet memories.
The amazing farewell brunch that my boss threw for me and a workmate yesterday at his house outside Boston. Blueberry scones, fruit salad, freshly picked peonies, bagels & lox, and lemon meringue pie. I’m so, so sad to leave and so, so nervous for my first day at the new workplace tomorrow. Keep repeating: June is a month for beginnings, deep breaths, etc.
Homemade pizza with spinach, mushroom, & mozzarella on basil/garlic/tomato spread. I always use this recipe for the crust and tomato base and then switch up the toppings depending on what I have in my refrigerator/freezer. Only drawback is that I have to prep the dough and tomato puree about an hour and a half in advance, but there’s something so comforting about making pizza with friends. :)
I’ve gotten so lazy with cooking lately. Really not sure how I’d survive without the help of frozen dumplings from the Asian mart and bags on bags of bok choy.